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Elements of Breach of Contract

Scholasticus K Aug 20, 2020
A 'breach', in common parlance, is defined as a non-performance of a legal obligation or duty previously agreed upon. Here, the breach of contract elements have been listed to shed some light on the various ways in which a contract can be violated.
The contract law or enactment is often considered to be the mother of all commercial laws. The contract is based upon the logic of transaction. A transaction is basically a situation where two persons exchange money or money's worth with each other.
Purchase of a burger is a transaction or a stamp collector swapping a stamp with another collector is a transaction. It must be noted that a transaction arises as a result of an agreement between two or more people or parties.
Such an agreement, supported by a lawful consideration, is known as a legally enforceable agreement or a contract. For a transaction to be a legally enforceable agreement, it must have these features.
  1. There must be more than one party to the agreement.
  2. The consideration (money or money's worth) must be lawful.
  3. There must be unbiased consent from both parties.

What is Breach of Contract?

When a person enters a contract, he legally binds himself into an obligation that he has to fulfill. For example, 'A' a consumer goes to the supermarket owned and operated by 'B' to buy grocery supplies. Here, it is the duty of A to pay up the total of bill as a consideration for the goods that he has purchased.
Paying the consideration to B is a legal obligation of B and without paying he cannot leave the market. Similarly, B has to provide A with the goods and services, of an unbiased nature, in totality, as the consideration against the sum of money that he is taking from A.
Providing the goods are termed as a legal obligation. Breach of contract is an assistance or refusal to perform the obligations. In common parlance, such a subsistence from showing of obligation is treated as a breach, but people don't go to the courts suddenly to file a case. Based upon its nature, either some solution is worked out or the court steps in.


Contract elements include a variety of different features, such as obligation, performance, time constraint, etc. The following is the explanation to the elements of a contract that can be breached by a person.
» Breach of Obligation: As mentioned, after entering into an agreement, all parties are legally bound to an obligation. It means that with the performance of this obligation, the contract cannot be held as performed or discharged.
For example, if you get into a taxi, the taxi driver will have to drive you to a location, that you request him to. Against this service, you are required to pay the said fare to the driver. Non-fulfillment of any of the obligations, is held as a violation of contract.
» Breach of Performance: A performance or specific performance is specification of consideration that has to be performed. The logic of the concept of performance is that the obligation has to be fulfilled in totality.
For example, if you walk into a diner, and order a burger, then the diner cannot serve you a burger without the base bread. Similarly if the burger costs $5, then you cannot just hand in $4.50. The partial fulfillment of the obligation is also a violation, and is termed as non-performance.
» Breach of Time Constraint: In business organizations, the element of time is essential. In such a scenario, the time of performance of the obligation is specified along with an additional grace period.
Payments, delivery of goods, and performance of specified services, come under the rule of timely performance of obligation. In such a situation, if the time specification is not followed, the contract is said to be violated.
It must be noted that in commercial agreements, compensations for violation are specified. Thus, if any party violates it, there will be no need to file a suit. The provisions already specified, take care of any losses.